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James D. Kornwolf

North American city and capital of the state of Maryland. It is situated on a peninsula in the Severn River and has a population of c. 36,000. It was founded as state capital in 1694. Originally called Providence, it was then named after Princess, later Queen, Anne, although it was also known at that time as Anne Arundeltown. Following the English Glorious Revolution of 1688, which brought William III and Mary II to the English throne, the formerly largely Catholic state of Maryland was divided into Anglican parishes by its new governor, Francis Nicholson. Although land had been set aside before 1694 on Annapolis’s site, little development had occurred. The city plan (1695) is attributable to Nicholson and while several towns in the English colonies, including New Haven (founded 1638) and Philadelphia (founded 1682), had adhered earlier to formal design principles, none was as obviously Baroque as his plan. Although the original was lost, another exists from ...



Robert M. Craig

North American city and capital of the state of Georgia. Situated in the foothills of the Appalachians, Atlanta was established in 1837 and has been the state capital since 1868; the urban area remains today the most populous metropolitan region of the south-eastern United States. The city has historically always been linked to transportation and has served as the hub in the south-east of, successively, the regional railroad system, the interstate highway system, and (with one of the busiest international airports in the world) the global air transportation system.

In 1836 few whites had yet settled in the land of the Creek and Cherokee Indians when the Georgia General Assembly voted to build a state railroad linking the Midwest to the Georgia coast (and through the port of Savannah to the Atlantic). The proposed Western and Atlantic Railroad ran from the Tennessee state line to the bank of the Chattahoochee River, and from there connected to branch rail lines. A small community, initially named Terminus, and in ...


Damie Stillman and Beatrice B. Garvan

American city, the largest in the state of Maryland, with a population of just under 650,000 (and a wider metropolitan population of 2.7 million). Situated on the Patapsco River at the northern edge of Chesapeake Bay, Baltimore was named after the baronial title of the Calvert family. Established in 1729 as a tobacco port, it was incorporated as a city in 1797 and by 1800 was the third largest city in the country.

Damie Stillman

Baltimore’s architecture is a distinguished reflection of the city’s importance. Only a few buildings survive from the 18th century, including Mount Clare (1757–87) and Fort McHenry (1799–1805) designed by Jean Foncin (enlarged 1813–57), the defence of which in 1814 inspired the national anthem. The Federal period saw an outpouring of impressive buildings, especially the Roman Catholic Cathedral (1805–21; now Basilica of the Assumption) by Benjamin Henry Latrobe, a major example of international Neo-classicism. Also active here was Maximilian Godefroy, whose works include the Neo-classical First Unitarian Church (...



Leland M. Roth, Stephen F. Thorpe, and Jeannine Falino

American city, capital, and financial and commercial centre of Massachusetts on the north-east coast of the USA. With an excellent natural harbour, it is the main port and largest city in New England. Originally built on the hilly Shawmut Peninsula, where the Mystic River and Charles River enter Massachusetts Bay, Boston was initially connected to the mainland only by Roxbury Neck, a low, narrow isthmus, now Washington Street, with the tidal flats, called the Back Bay, and Charles River to the north-west and a wide bay to the south. Rocks and earth from Copp’s Hill and Beacon Hill have been used for extensive landfill to add to the city almost four times the area of the peninsula.

In 1630 Puritans fleeing the control of the Church of England established a self-governing community in Boston, which was named after their home town and port in Lincolnshire, England. In the same year New Towne, a few kilometres to the west on the north bank of the Charles River, was chosen as the capital of the Bay Colony. In ...



Ann McKeighan Lee

American city and seat of Erie County in the state of New York. Buffalo is situated at the eastern end of Lake Erie, where the lake flows into the Niagara River, and has a population of c. 328,000. Designed as a village for the Holland Land Co. in 1803 by Joseph Ellicott (1760–1826), the settlement grew rapidly after the opening of the Erie Canal in 1825, developing into a major port, rail centre, livestock and grain market and becoming known as the gateway to the Midwest. The migration to the suburbs in the 1950s was detrimental to architectural development. The city’s notable buildings include St Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral by Upjohn family, §1 (spire 1870; church rebuilt after the fire of 1888 by R. W. Gibson (1854–1927)); the State Hospital (1872–7) by H(enry) H(obson) Richardson; and the Guaranty (1894–6; now Prudential) Building by Dankmar Adler...


Stanford Anderson

[formerly Charles Town]

American city in South Carolina. It is a major East Coast port, regional centre, and the most important city in the state, although Columbia became state capital in 1786. Sited on a peninsula between the Ashley and Cooper rivers, it overlooks a broad bay opening on the Atlantic Ocean a few miles distant. In pre-Revolutionary times, Charles Town, as it was known until after the British occupation of 1780–82, virtually was the South Carolina colony. On the eve of the Revolution it was a wealthy city, the fourth largest in the British colonies (its 1776 population was 12,800, over half of which was black). In the late 20th century it had a metropolitan area population of 507,000.

In 1663 Charles II created eight court favourites Lords Proprietors of Carolina, the area south of Virginia. In April 1670 a group sent from England settled on the Ashley River, opposite the peninsula, and in ...



Harold M. Mayer and Lynne Warren

North American city and seat of Cook County in the state of Illinois. Located at the south-western corner of Lake Michigan, Chicago is the most important inland city in North America as well as the third largest, with a population of approximately 9.5 million in the metropolitan area. Beginning in the late 19th century the city was at the centre of important innovations in the development of modern architecture.

The first European settlement on the site of Chicago was Fort Dearborn, established in 1803 to protect the portage route between the south branch of the Chicago River and the Des Plaines River, which flows south-west into the Illinois and thence the Mississippi. The fort was abandoned following the massacre of the garrison by Native Americans in 1812 but re-established in 1816. The strategic situation of the site stimulated further settlement, and the area at the junction of the north and south branches of the Chicago River was planned in ...


Stephen C. Gordon and Sandra Sider

American city in Ohio, in the south-west of the state. The metropolitan area of this city, on the banks of the Ohio River, includes parts of Indiana and Kentucky. During the early 19th century, with the economy prospering as a result of the War of 1812, the city became known as ‘Queen of the West’. It rises from the river to a valley, known as the ‘basin’, which is rimmed by a series of steep, wooded hills.

Cincinnati evolved from the small frontier settlement (1788) of Losantiville, renamed in 1790 in honour of the Revolutionary War Officers’ Society of the Cincinnati. It became a thriving river port in the 1800s, favoured by its location on the Ohio River and by an abundance of building material, especially clay for brickworks. Its narrow streets were lined with sturdy brick and frame buildings, and the city was punctuated by individually significant works such as the businessman Martin Baum’s renowned Federal-style mansion (...


Eric Johannesen

revised by Margaret Barlow

North American city and seat of Cuyahoga County in the state of Ohio. Located on the southern shore of Lake Erie, it is an industrial metropolis and a Great Lakes port (population c. 400,000). The city was founded in 1796 as part of the Western Reserve lands of the old colony of Connecticut. Growth was spurred by the Ohio Canal, the development of the railways, industry, and manufacturing, and by 1910 the city was the sixth largest in the USA.

Cleveland’s architecture during the first half of the 19th century was typical of a transplanted New England village, with classical and Greek Revival timber houses and churches. In the last quarter of the century the city’s most impressive architecture was concentrated on Euclid Avenue, lined with great mansions in every revival style built by the barons of steel, shipping, oil, electricity, and the railways (e.g. the Gothic Revival Rufus K. Winslow House by ...



Keith N. Morgan

American town and former artists’ colony in the state of New Hampshire. Situated on a line of hills near the eastern bank of the Connecticut River c. 160 km north-west of Boston, Cornish looks across to Windsor, VT, and Mt Ascutney. It was settled in 1763 as an agrarian community, but its population was rapidly reduced during the migration to the cities in the second half of the 19th century. From 1885 until around the time of World War I, Cornish was the summer home of a group of influential sculptors, painters, architects, gardeners, and writers. For this coherent group, the Cornish hills symbolized an ideal natural environment that reflected the classical images so important in their work. The sculptor who first spent a summer in Cornish in 1885, Augustus Saint-Gaudens, bought his summer residence there in 1891, and he was soon followed by the painters Henry Oliver Walker (...



Jay C. Henry

American city in Texas, situated on the flat prairies in the north-eastern part of the state, 48 km from Fort Worth. Dallas is the second largest city in Texas (population c. 1,200,000) and one of the fastest-growing metropolitan areas in the USA. It was founded on the east bank of the Trinity River by John Neely Bryan, who established a trading post there in 1841 to supply pioneers moving west. Bryan laid out a grid that established the east–west orientation of the central city streets; another grid established a few years later intersected the first at 30°, creating a grid-shift that continues to hinder traffic in downtown Dallas. Dallas rose to urban significance with the advent of the railways in the 1870s, when it became a transportation hub and commercial centre for the cotton trade, and by 1890 it had a population of c. 38,000. Only isolated buildings remain of its 19th-century architecture—notably the fine Richardsonian Romanesque Dallas County Courthouse (by ...



American city in Michigan, located on the north shore of the Detroit River between lakes St Clair and Erie. One of the oldest cities in the Midwest, its population in 2010 was c. 713,777, following a steep decline, largely due to the decline of its motor industry, for which it had been known since the early 1900s. It was founded as Fort Pontchartrain-du-Détroit (1701) as a fort and fur-trading post by Antoine Laumet de La Mothe Cadillac (1658–1730), on behalf of Louis XIV, king of France (reg 1643–1715). The city was captured in 1760 by the British, who renamed it Detroit, and passed to the USA in 1794. It became capital of the state of Michigan in 1805, just three weeks after it had been virtually destroyed by fire. Detroit was rebuilt to a grid-plan, with one- or two-storey clapboard dwellings of simple Colonial type, with low-gabled roof-lines, shallow mouldings, small sash windows, and pilaster-framed doorways. The establishment of a steamboat route between Buffalo and Detroit led to the development of industries. In ...


Oscar P. Fitzgerald

American city in western Michigan, noted for its furniture production. Its situation at the rapids of the Grand River provided ease of river transportation and proximity to timber from Michigan’s great pine and hardwood forests. The furniture industry began in Grand Rapids when the city’s first cabinetmaker, William ‘Deacon’ Haldane (1807–98), established a shop there in 1836. By 1851 E. M. Ball of Powers & Ball was boasting that he could toss ‘whole trees into the hopper and grind out chairs ready for use’ to fill an order for 10,000 chairs in Chicago (Ransom, p. 5). In the 1870s Grand Rapids became a major factor in the American furniture market. Such companies as Berkey & Gay, Widdicomb, Phoenix and Nelson-Matter built large factories and hired Dutch and other European immigrants to operate them. While most of these manufacturers produced complete lines of bedroom, parlour and dining-room suites, some, like the ...


Capital city of the Canadian province of Nova Scotia. It is situated on the Atlantic coast, on a hill on the eastern slope of a rocky peninsula, and is the largest city in the Maritime provinces. In 1749 the British established a fortified settlement, named after the 2nd Earl of Halifax. Early development consisted of grid-pattern streets rising in neat terraces from the waterfront. Local forests provided abundant wood for the simple, painted clapboard houses. Dominating the top of the hill is the Citadel, originally a star-shaped, stone fortress. The present edifice (1861; now Army Mus., Citadel) is the fourth on the site. The town also thrived as a centre for fishing and shipbuilding and as a port for transatlantic vessels. Its early civil population was made up largely of British and German immigrants, as well as of New Englanders. The timber, Palladian St Paul’s Anglican Church (1750...


Sandra Sider

North American city and capital of the state of Connecticut. It was founded in 1635 at a site on the west shore of the Connecticut River and is c. 50 km inland from New Haven. The city has a population of c. 125,000. Hartford is one of the oldest cities in the USA, but very little evidence remains of 17th- or 18th-century structures. Charles Bulfinch’s brick and brownstone Old State House (1796) with Doric porticos in the Federal style still stands, however, in the heart of the city. The mercantile economy of the late 18th and 19th centuries brought new architectural styles, such as Greek Revival in the 1820s. Gothic Revival architecture began to be used for churches as Episcopal Church design in the USA was influenced by the Church of England’s preference for the Gothic style. This popular English style was also used for secular buildings, notably the Wadsworth Atheneum (...



Deborah A. Middleton

Port city in the state of Texas. Houston was founded in 1836 and incorporated in 1837 becoming a port, and railroad and energy centre; oil was discovered nearby in 1901. The city was conceived as wards arranged about a central downtown core. Early distinctive historical architecture includes Trinity Church (1919), a neo-Gothic building by Ralph A. Cram and Frank Ferguson (1861–1926), architects who also designed Rice University and the Julia Ideason building (1926). The Niels and Mellie Esperson buildings (1927 and 1941) were designed by John Eberson in an Italian Renaissance style and topped by a grand tempietto. Art Deco architecture, such as the Houston Municipal Airport (1940), is well represented in Houston.

The River Oaks Shopping Center (1937), designed by architect Stayton Nunn, is one of the first strip shopping centres in America, it was followed by another first, the Galleria (...


Deborah A. Middleton

Name of two American cities in Kansas and Missouri divided by the Kansas River at its confluence with the Missouri River. Kansas City resonates with monumentally proportioned commercial and industrial buildings, displays numerous architectural styles, and showcases unaltered streetscapes dating from 1865 to 1911. The city was founded in 1838 and is composed of multiple neighbourhoods organized by a planned system of parks and boulevards (published in 1893), designed in accordance with City Beautiful principles. George Kessler (1862–1923) is credited with the design which was continued by Kansas City architects Henry Wright and father and son team Sid Hare (1860–1938) and Herbert Hare (1888–1960).

During the 1880s major developments and designs following City Beautiful principles came to define the downtown district: these included the New York Life Building (1890) by McKim, Mead & White, the installation of Kessler’s park and boulevard system (...


Michael R. Corbett

American city and seat of Clark County in the state of Nevada. Situated in a desert valley surrounded by mountains in the southeastern part of the state and c. 400 km northeast of Los Angeles, the city (population c. 258,000), which spills out into the surrounding county, is at once among the most ordinary and yet most distinctive of American cities. Although it had been settled briefly by Mormons in 1855–7, and the US army built Fort Baker there in 1864, Las Vegas was finally established only in 1905 by the San Pedro, Los Angeles, and Salt Lake Railroad. The town was laid out as a simple grid alongside the railway tracks, where the railway company built workshops, an ice plant for fruit and vegetables en route from southern California to the Midwest, and a number of small family houses for its workers. It remained a small company-dominated town until the mid-1920s, when the railway reduced its operations after a bitter labour strike. Las Vegas underwent substantial development, however, following the state’s simultaneous legalization of gambling and liberalization of divorce laws in ...


David Gebhard, Nancy Dustin Wall Moure, and Nizan Shaked

North American city and seat of Los Angeles County, California. It is located on the Pacific coast in the southern part of the state, c. 600 km south of San Francisco and just over 200 km north of the Mexican border. It is the second largest city (population c. 3.4 million) in the USA. Los Angeles itself forms the hub of a vast metropolis (population c. 8.7 million) that comprises about 100 other urban centres, including Pasadena, Long Beach, Santa Monica, and Beverly Hills; it is characterized by extensive freeway development because of a lack of public transport. The city is the centre of the American film industry, around which a thriving artistic community developed; it is also a centre of high technology.

David Gebhard, revised by Nizan Shaked

El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora La Reina de Los Angeles was founded on 4 September 1781 by Felipe de Neve, the Spanish governor of the Province of California, on the Los Angeles River ...



North American city and seat of Dade County, located on Biscayne Bay at the mouth of the Miami River in south-eastern Florida. It is a major seaport and tourist resort. Greater Miami (population c. 2.6 million) includes Miami Beach, Coral Gables, North Miami, and Hialeah, and, together with smaller districts, forms the southern limit of Florida’s so-called Gold Coast. In the 16th century Spanish explorers discovered the Tequesta Indian village of Mayaimi on the southern bank of the estuary; in 1567 a Jesuit mission and fort were established on the site, although its fate is unknown. In 1743 the Jesuit mission of S Ignacio was founded on what later became Coconut Grove, and the Spanish crown granted local land to Spanish gentry. In 1821 the US Government purchased the state of Florida from Spain. The landowner Julia D. Tuttle arrived in 1873 and was among the founders of modern Miami, encouraging the oil magnate ...